Ford (NYSE:F) is ramping up the number of vehicles it exports to China as automakers are competing to build sales in the fastest-growing auto market in the world. According to a report from The Detroit News, Ford is increasing its exports from the U.S. and Canada to China by 40,000 vehicles per year, utilizing a shipping port in Portland, Oregon.
Most of the exports to China will be focused on SUVs, which are growing in popularity in the country. The Edge midsize and the Explorer full-size SUVs are among the new vehicles that will be shipped from North America to China. SUVs are expected to drive gas consumption in China for the year, as the vehicles are seen as a desirable status symbol in the country and are thought to be a safer option for traversing China’s dangerous roads.
“The vast majority of the vehicles we sell in China are built in China,” Ford said in an emailed statement to The Detroit News. “As part of our plan to offer a full family of SUVs to Chinese consumers, we began importing the Ford Explorer from the U.S. to China this year. Explorer joins our locally produced EcoSport and Kuga, as well as Edge, which is imported from Canada.”